Early in the 1890s, Civil War Union veterans claimed a small corner of Brandywine Park as a place to congregate in good weather. The familiar sight of the old soldiers sitting regularly in that area led people to call the spot "Old Soldiers' Park." In 1919, the elderly men, no longer able to look after the park, turned responsibility for care over to the city's Board of Park Commissioners.
(Captions, counterclockwise from bottom left:)
In 1908, a group of the veterans formed the Old Soldiers' Park Association and, with Board of Park Commissioners approval, erected a flagpole that they dedicated on Flag Day, 1908. Around 1913-14, local citizens embellished the park with military equipment—cannon, cannon balls, and a tripod of rifles at the foot of the flagpole. Credit: Delaware State Parks, Cultural Resource Unit.
Each of Delaware's regiments had its own "regimental colors," consisting of a U.S. national flag and often another flag, usually of silk, bearing the unit's name and identifying a symbol. The flag of the 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry, pictured here, featured the Delaware State Seal. Credit Delaware Public Archives.
Military emblems—The shield-shaped badge belonged to a soldier named J. Hanna who was a member of the 3rd Delaware Volunteers, Company I.
brass breastplate was originally on the leather sling of a cartridge box belonging to Captain William Laws Cannon, Company B, 1st Delaware Cavalry. It shows an eagle clutching the arrows of war in one claw and the olive branch of peace in the other.
Credit: Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society.